Throw Me Something, Mister! Fat Tuesday 2013

Tomorrow is Mardi Gras!  The pub date for ORLEANS is less than a month away and down in the Big Easy, there's a party going on.    My mom was from New Orleans so sometimes we would take an early spring break and go to visit my grandparents during Mardi Gras.  The parade scene in my second book, SPARROW, is a pretty good illustration of the festivities.  Picture hundreds of people shoving and pushing at edge of a parade as giant floats roll by with costumed riders tossing plastic necklaces and coins called doubloons into the crowd.

Our favorite parade was Zulu because, while far from being politically correct, they had the best loot.  In addition to doubloons and necklaces, Zulu throws coconuts and hair combs.  Which sounds dangerous and kind of lame perhaps, but trust me-- it was awesome. 

Photo courtesy of MuffyJenkins-Andrews's Twitter pic (@_yungNwreckless)
 People really want these things.  In fact, Zulu coconuts are more than a tradition, they're a cottage industry.

Photo courtesy 610 Stompers Facebook Page
So, go out and grab yourself a coconut to decorate today.  If you're in NOLA (that's New Orleans, Louisiana for you uninitiated) then, Laissez les bon temps roulez!  And if you sit tight for two weeks, you'll get the ORLEANS version in a short story called "Carnivale" that will post on the Young Adult Readers Network blog.  (I'm so excited!)

 Happy Lundi Gras, everyone!